You Have Nice Ears
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
He avoided her in every way he could. When they bumped in the streets, he'd walk in the opposite direction, Even if it was where he had come from. When Naruto begged them to have ramen with him after training, he refused, claiming he had other things on. When he absolutely, absolutely had to talk to her, he'd make the conversation as short as he possibly could (if you can get any more short than 'Hn' and 'Aa').
Every time, she'd look like she couldn't care less about the way he was treating her. But everyone could see through it. It was so obvious to them. What wasn't obvious was why. Sakura hadn't done anything to him. Everything seemed fine.
But to Sasuke, it was anything but.
It was an early morning and the three ninjas waited impatiently for their teacher. One brooded in the shade of the old, oak tree whilst the others lurked near the bridge's edge.
Birds were twittering (more like squawking their brains out) and the trees rustled with the cool wind. It was perfect weather for some serious training. The sun beat down on their metal covered heads and the three finally sighed in unison when a poof of smoke left a clear view of their perverted sensei dangling from a tree trunk.
"Ah, my lovely, patient students."
Naruto snorted and Sakura nearly choked on air. Sasuke wandered out from under the tree and looked to the training grounds. He folded his arms stiffly, starting in the direction.
"Sasuke…where are you off to?"
"Hn. Training. Where else?"
Three heads whipped his way as the old man climbed down gracefully from the tree, managing to keep him book from closing or getting trampled on. He dusted himself off lightly, smiling underneath his mask.
"No, no, not today." Quizzical glances between the ninjas. "Today, we are trying a new activity."
"Huh? But it's a great day for some training! And then we can go have RAMEN!"
Sakura cleared her throat, glancing at Naruto disapprovingly, following Kakashi as they walked through the trees. Weaving in and out of the trunks, she couldn't help but notice the stoic teen had walked to the very edge of the forest, head turned the opposite direction.
She couldn't help but feel left out. Stupid! Shaking her head wildly, Sakura tore her gaze away from him and returned to the question at hand.
"So? What are we doing then? And why are we walking through the forest?"
Soon the four of them arrived in a clearing of the forest. Except the forest wasn't clear. Nearly everyone she knew was there: Ino, Shikamaru, Neji, Lee, Ten Ten, Hinata, Kiba…she lost count as they continued moving about and chatting animatedly. Some heads turned their way and Lee came running up to them, enthusiasm clearly plastered onto his bright face.
"Sakura-chan! Sasuke-san, Naruto-san! Welcome!"
He punched his fists in the air, grinning happily. He was sure to know what was happening.
"Hi, Lee. Do you know what we're all doing here?"
Sakura put on her sweetest smile, but was really quite impatient. She wasted to do some training. Instead, they were wasting perfect time to talk to Lee about…what?
"I have no the slightest idea, Sakura-chan! But I do know that you are the brightest flower: youthful, full of colour, exquisite, per—"
Sasuke had appeared out of no where, cutting Lee off effectively. Sakura looked up to meet his gaze. But the silent Uchiha tuned and walked off. Again. She gritted her teeth. It was getting a little old now.
"Okay, teams, gather round!"
Kakashi finally removed his face from the deep jungle of his beloved 'novel' and gestured the teams so they stood in a circle. Curious whispers flew around until a puff of smoke brought Tsunade to their gathering.
"GRANNY? What are you doing here? Don't you have better things to do, instead of watching over us?"
Naruto nearly fell to his knees as the big-busted woman gave him a hard punch to the head. Rubbing it painfully, the blonde kept his mouth shut (luckily for him) and glanced sheepishly at the irritated woman.
She paid him no attention and turned to her audience.
"Okay, kunoichis and shinobis, listen up!" She barked, face looking radiant in the shining sun, dappling on her face as the trees swayed above. "Kakashi and I, have come up with a new strategy for you guys. The aim of this: to put trust back into your ninja lives."
Excited and muffled shouts came from behind hands and masks. It had been a long time since they had a new strategy just explained. They were all in their six and seventeens, lacking trust was rare, but it could always happen.
"Okay, here's how it will go: I will hand you each two sheets of paper. One is labeled 'Ninjas', and the other, 'Citizens'. You will spend the next few hours going around our lovely village, asking citizens and ninjas alike, what they think of you. They will write in on either pieces of paper, depending on their status. Yo will be aiming to collect positive comments about your self. It can either be about your skills, personality and physical state."
Tsunade paused, taking a breath. Kakashi continued on, voice controlled and echoing over the vast forest.
"This will: a) Make you trust others in your ability as ninjas, and as humans—citizens of Konoha. b) Let others trust you. If they give you an insulting or false review, keep it quiet and leave them alone. This will be proof of your self-control. The purposes of this task will serve you well on your missions, I'm sure."
All was silent as the group of about a dozen ninjas stared at their superiors. Were they serious? A trust game with little notes and pens? Did they think they were five?
Thoughts flew around all at once, beating the loud voice trying to be heard, Obviously, no one could miss it. Naruto grinned happily, jumping to the middle of the circle and holding out his palm.
"Well? When can I start?"
Sasuke growled in annoyance when the elder woman giggled as she wrote in curly writing, on his almost full 'Citizens' page. Stupid Naruto. He just had to be chirpy about tit, tricking the two leaders they wanted to participate in the stupid activity.
At least Sakura gave him a good beating up before they split up to find their friends and family.
Thanking the 40-year-old stonily, the teen shoved the paper into his pocket before jumping onto a roof, skipping two as he leaped forward. So far, he had completed half the town, only the eastern part to go… and the ninjas.
The Uchiha had dreaded the activity as soon as he heard it. Go around, asking squealing girls, jealous men and old folks to sign his sheet? What a waste of time.
Swallowing heavily, Sasuke hoped he had convinced himself that it wasn't, wasn't because of a certain pink-haired medic. Fisting his hands, he took an unnecessarily far leap and sped off into the distance, frowning slightly.
"Excuse me, can you please sign this?"
Sakura smiled prettily as the old man as he took the pen from her heartily, chuckling as he glimpsed the other comments people had dropped in for her.
The pinkette felt confident about her comments so far, and with another hour to go, she was sure she'd get enough to impress her friends. So far, her 'Ninjas' list was going well, with most of its contents from her friends and a couple from the guards at the front of the gates. Strangely, she had missed Sasuke back at the clearing. By the time she had thanked Naruto for his generous writing and whirled around to ask the silent teen, he had gone.
With just a couple more to go, Sakura decided to skip the 'Citizens' list and to find her missing teammate. He was sure to be somewhere near…
A dark shadow whizzed by her and Sakura had to do a double take as she realized the mysterious man was Sasuke. Running after him, she called out loudly, hoping the wind didn't disguise her strangely squeaky voice.
"Sasuke! Wait up!"
The man slowed down—but only by a second. Still panting by the time she got to the bored man, the pinkette glanced up at him, frowning at his turned away face.
After weeks, he still wouldn't look at her properly?
"Ahh…" she stuttered, scanning her mind for what she was about to say to him. "oh yeah, can you sign my page?"
Flicking him the white paper, she tapped her foot as she waited. After almost a minute, he flung the paper back, and began to run again. About to read his writing, Sakura realized she never signed his page. Looking up quickly, the teen shoved her page into her pocket and ran after the agile man.
Sasuke nearly groaned when he heard Sakura call after him again. Wasn't she done torturing him with her cheerfulness? Slowing down, he didn't turn around as the female clicked her pen and asked for his sheet.
Sighing silently, the Uchiha extracted the crumbled sheet from his pocket.
Snatching the sheet away from the oblivious girl with much unneeded force, Sasuke sped off again, without a backward glance at his hurt teammate.
"Okay, hand me the sheets carefully and try not to rip them even more than they are already please."
Kakashi sighed at the grumbling bunch of ninjas, hurrying them up as they all looked tired as hell. Sheesh, they went around with pieces of paper, not rocks.
Collecting the sheets, Kakashi made sure all of them were secured in his belt pocket before informing them of checking and returning them in the next hour.
Sakura sulked at the last part. She didn't even get the chance to read half of her comments. And with nothing to do for the next hour, she might as well take a rest.
Slumping down in the wooden trunk of the large tree, the pinkette closed her eyes, emitting a soft gasp as the comfort of the leaves left her calm and quiet.
"Ne, Forehead." Ino poked her in the eye. "Get up. We have to talk."
Grumbling at her friend, she opened her eyes, only to see all her female friends on the same branch. Leaping down before said object collapsed, Sakura glared up at the blonde, folding her arms across her chest. Ino stared back, not backing down.
"What is it now?"
"Well, it's about Sasuke." Ino replied bluntly. Sakura turned red, glancing around for the Uchiha. But again, as always, he was missing from sight.
Sighing in relief, the pinkette questioned Ino's sanity.
"Yeah, what about him?"
"Well," Ten Ten had but in. "What's with him?"
"He's been acting all strange is what Ten Ten means." Hinata winced slightly at Sakura's glare. They had no right to talk about how he acted towards her.
"No, nothing's wrong between us…"
"Yeah, riiight, like we're going to believe that. For the last month he's been avoiding you like the plague. Everywhere you are, he isn't."
"So? It's not like he has to always be around me."
"Yeah, but the thing is, now he's never around you!"
Her friends continued their bombardment of worries and concerns, fretting over the smallest changes.
Unfortunately, they were getting to Sakura. They were right. Sasuke was never like this…but nothing and happened…had it?
Paranoia getting to her head, Sakura tried to push them out, but Hinata's last words struck her hard.
"Maybe he doesn't like you anymore."
Ten Ten hissed, giving Hinata a soft 'boink' to the head.
But Sakura had heard. The words echoed in her mind, killing it with angsty thoughts. Was Hinata right? Was Sasuke avoiding her because he didn't like her anymore?
Not that he was in love with her in the beginning.
Slight anger seeped through the cracks of her fizzed up brain and Sakura saw red. But it passed just as quickly as it came.
"Sakura, you okay?"
Ten Ten and Ino jumped over to her wildly, shaking her shoulders, looking her in the eyes.
"Don't let him get to you, hear me Forehead? He's nothing!"
"Yeah…" Sakura shook herself out of her thoughts (with a little help from her friends) and laughed. "I'm fine! So what? He'll get over his overly emo moods swings!"
The kunoichis weren't convinced of their friend's act but left her alone after she reassured them of her emotional stability. She'll be fine, they told themselves.
Sasuke looked at his 'Ninjas' page carefully, searching for a certain name. His eyes stopped on the swirly writing, heart beating just that little bit faster. Scanning over then words, he almost smiled. Instead, the signature smirk appeared on his lips.
Underneath the previous comment from a young genin, was Sakura's, Trustworthy. It was only one word, not even the word he had most wanted to hear from her, but it made him let go of his breath. He was safe. Sakura was fine with him.
Sasuke knew he was being stupid ignoring and backing away from Sakura for the past month. But she had no idea how she made him feel.
Every time he saw her, his whole being would freeze up and the stoic block of ice had to practically scream at himself to force the disobedient limbs to move. Every time she talked, laughed or shouted had him shivering and breathless…
And it hurt him to see her so upset, so disheartened when seeing him turn his back on her. It broke his heart too. Nevertheless, Sasuke could never, never confess to her. He was scared to put it simple.
Yes, the Great Sasuke Uchiha was scared of rejection.
Sakura ripped up the sheet of paper sitting innocently on her kitchen table. She had just arrived home after receiving the paper from Kakashi, show seemed to smirk no matter her strange glances. Sakura had then journeyed home, taken a long bath (running around town for three hours was tiring) and scanned through the sheet of comments on both slips of paper.
First came the 'Citizens', which passed with a glad smile, then pinned up on the magnetic fridge. But when Sakura read the notes on 'Ninjas', she nearly pulled out her wet hair.
Underneath all the positive and lovely comments from her fellow peers and superiors, was the undeniably neat, masculine cursive of Uchiha Sasuke.
What she saw made her blood boil.
What she saw made her scream inside, splitting her head nearly in half.
What she saw had furious tears sprouting from her green eyes.
Underneath Sasuke Uchiha, was:
'You have nice ears.'
Sasuke almost fell out of his sitting spot in the tree when a loud, piercing voice broke his clam mood. Lifting up one arm as a sign of peace, Sasuke made sure he was out of reach of the pink-haired woman when she came screaming his way.
Guessing the reason of her pathetic rambling, the silent teen continued to stare at the red medic, not making direct eye contact and looking somewhere near her left knee, knowing it was best for her to run dry first.
"And you better get your stupid, prideful ass down here right now before I—"
His simple phrase caught her off guard and Sakura just stared up at the calm teen, steam still coming out of her nose and ears alike.
Giving her a quick once-over, Sasuke presumed it was okay for him to slide down from his position in the tree.
Beginning his retreat to the unaware village to the south of the dense forest, the Uchiha stopped in his tracks when the pinkette stomped into his path. Side-stepping her, he paused once again when Sakura's furious gaze settled on his unnerved features.
She didn't budge. Instead, Sakura reached into her pocket, carefully keeping their eyes interlocked. Then—
Dozens of tiny pieces of what looked like snow drifted to the ground, some caught in the wind and taking them away. Sasuke's eyes followed, trying vainly to avoid the hot stare.
"You have nice ears?" She shook with anger. "You have nice EARS?"
A hard fist smacked against his chest, Sasuke held in his gasp of shock and pain. He was sure she had just broken a rib. Backing away, the teen tried not to show signs of worry.
With an ear-piercing war cry, Sakura ran forward, punching and kicking in his direction madly. She hardly gave him any room to move and Sasuke stuck with dodging everything, hoping she would run out for chakra soon. Or before he died at least.
His plan didn't work as the infuriated girl pumped her energy to her gloved arm, picking up a huge boulder and hurling it with all her strength. Sasuke only narrowly dodged it as the rock smashed into one of the poor fig trees. Birds screeched overhead at all their (her) commotion and Sasuke knew he couldn't keep on going on, dodging and diving for his life.
Making a move, the black-haired male swooped to his left, too quick for Sakura, who was just beginning to realize how dum she was for attacking someone with so much speed.
Jumping back, Sakura fell over a stump and reacted as quickly as she could. Using her elbows as leverage, the girl lashed out with her legs, kicking the man in the stomach. Sasuke was thrown back about three metres, but recovered with lightening speed and retaliated quickly, pushing her back to the ground before she had the chance to fully get up.
Gaping, Sakura struggled wildly against Sasuke's firm grasp her wrists, making a personal note to shave off all his raven locks once she got them free.
Opening her mouth, Sakura made to give the smirking man a firm bite, seeing as her legs were pinned to the ground too, thanks to his knees. But instead of his fingers, Sakura met his mouth.
Sasuke cheered victoriously in his mind as his mouth touched hers, his ego inflating drastically.
Watching Sakura struggle against his trap made her look irresistible. Not knowing what he was in for, the Uchiha had pushed his lips upon hers without thinking properly. But no way, was he regretting his rash actions.
Sakura's reaction was reward enough. From yelling madwoman to wide-eyed kisser in about two seconds flat, Sasuke was sure things would turn out alright between them.
But he just had to do one last thing…
Sakura yelped out when Sasuke's lips travelled along her jaw and to the edge of her small face. Then, without warning, they latched themselves on her earlobe, pulling out a mewl of surprise from the pink-haired medic.
They tugged and pulled on her earlobe, then when on to lick the shell of the anatomy. All struggling had stopped, and both parties felt pleasure in their recent activity.
Sasuke stopped abruptly, smirking down at the pink Sakura, who was still in her own world.
She stared up at him, fingered curled lightly and hair tousled.
"Hn. Yes, you do have nice ears."